Dutch Apple Pie

Dutch Apple Pie

“As American as apple pie,” so the saying goes. But apple pie did not originate from America at all. In fact, apples are native to Central Asia and by 1500 BCE apple seeds had made their way throughout Europe. The first documented recipe for apple pie came from England in 1381, then pops up later in a Dutch cookbook in 1514. It wasn’t until the 17th century that this classic fruit spread to North America and gave rise to what is now known as the most iconic American dessert.

Whereas American apple pies are typically double-crusted, what we register as a Dutch apple pie has a bottom crust and is covered with a crumbly streusel topping, similar to the Dutch appelkruimeltaart. For my crust, I go the European route and make a standard brisée dough using butter; for the filling, I combine Granny Smith and Honeycrisp apples for that unparalleled snap, tang, and flavor; and it all gets topped with a salty, crunchy, brown sugary streusel.

“This apple pie was amazing! I loved how the apples held their shapes and didn’t turn too mushy. The pie dough was easy to work with and the crunchy streusel topping was an added bonus. Try this pie with some whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top for the ultimate fall treat!” —Bahareh Niati

Dutch Apple Pie/Tester Image A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, more for the work surface

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cubed

  • 1/4 cup ice water, more as needed

For the Streusel:

  • 2/3 cup old fashioned oats

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 6 tablespoons dark brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cubed

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

For the Filling:

  • 3 large Granny Smith apples, about 1 1/2 pounds

  • 3 large Honeycrisp apples, about 1 1/2 pounds

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Crust

  1. Gather the crust ingredients.

    ingredients to make pie crust

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, salt, and cold cubed butter. Mix on low speed until the butter chunks are the size of peas, about 1 minute.

    flour with butter crumbs in stand mixer bowl

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  3. With the machine running, drizzle in the ice water just until the dough barely comes together. If the dough is too dry, add more water 1 teaspoon at a time.

    pie crust dough in stand mixer bowl

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  4. Turn the dough out onto a flour-dusted work surface and finish kneading by hand until there are no more shaggy bits left.

    pie crust dough

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  5. Form the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare the streusel.

    pie crust dough wrapped in plastic

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

Make the Streusel

  1. Gather the streusel ingredients.

    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

    ingredients to make streusel

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  2. In the same mixer bowl (no need to wash it out) fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, cubed butter, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and baking powder. Paddle on low speed until the mixture is combined and large clumps form, about 1 minute.

    streusel in a stand mixer bowl

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  3. Spread the streusel out onto the lined baking sheet and place in the fridge to chill while you prepare the rest of the pie.

    streusel on a lined baking sheet

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

Make the Filling

  1. Gather the filling ingredients.

    ingredients to make Dutch apple pie filling

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  2. Peel, core, and cut all the apples into 1/4-inch thick slices.

    sliced apples on a cutting board

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  3. Add the apple slices to a large bowl with the granulated and brown sugars, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt. Toss until the mixture is coated. Set aside.

    sliced apples tossed with sugar and spices

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

Assemble and Bake the Pie

  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat to 375 F.

    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Have a 9-inch pie pan ready.

    empty pie pan

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  2. Place the dough disc on a flour-dusted work surface. Dust the top with more flour. Starting with your rolling pin in the center each time, roll the dough away from you, then toward you. Rotate the disc about 20 degrees counterclockwise and roll again away from you, then toward you. Continue to rotate and roll until you have a large circle of dough about 1/8 inch thick. If the dough starts to stick to the surface or the rolling pin at any point, dust the surface or the dough with more flour.

    rolled out pie crust

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  3. Loosely roll the dough around the rolling pin and transfer it to the pie pan. Let the dough drape loosely into the pan—if you pull it too tight it will shrink around the edges.

    pie crust draped on pie pan

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  4. Use your fingers to press the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan, then fold the edges under to create a thick rim.

    pie crust in pie pan

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  5. Crimp or finish the dough rim as desired. Freeze the pie pan for 10 minutes to firm up. This will help it retain its shape during baking.

    pie crust in pie pan

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  6. Fill the crust with the filling mixture, making a mound in the center (leave any liquid at the bottom of the bowl behind to prevent a soggy crust. You can cook this down on medium heat, if desired, for a delicious syrup to drizzle on top of the pie).

    sliced apples in pie pan

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  7. Take the streusel out of the fridge and crumble over the top of the pie. Place the pie on the lined baking sheet and bake until the filling is bubbling and the streusel is golden brown, 50 to 60 minutes. Begin checking the pie after the first 30 minutes. If the top is browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil and continue baking.

    unbaked Dutch apple pie

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  8. Let the pie cool at room temperature for at least two hours before serving.

    Dutch apple pie

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

Tips

  • Serve room temperature or warm with a cup of coffee, a drizzle of the reserved syrup from the apples, whipped cream, ice cream, or topped with a slice of melted cheddar cheese.
  • You can use the same parchment-lined baking sheet for refrigerating the streusel and for baking the pie to avoid wasting parchment paper.

Recipe Variations

  • Try different apples. The more varieties you use, the more complex the flavor.
  • Feel free to substitute the oats or a portion of the oats in the streusel for chopped nuts for an added crunch.

How to Store and Freeze

  • The raw dough can be wrapped in plastic, then placed in a freezer bag for four days in the fridge or for up to three months in the freezer. Put frozen dough in the fridge the night before using to allow it to thaw.
  • The unbaked streusel can be stored for four days in the fridge and for up to three months in the freezer in an airtight container or freezer bag.
  • Technically, you can freeze leftover pie after baking, but I don't recommend it as it will alter the structure and mouthfeel of the crust. Instead, you can freeze the assembled unbaked pie double wrapped in plastic, then sealed in a freezer bag. To bake it, place the frozen pie directly into the oven and bake as directed, adding another 30 to 40 minutes to the total bake time.

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